If The Elk Grove City Council Goes Full-Time, Will They Keep 8-5 Business Hours?


July 15, 2016 |

At the Wednesday meeting of the Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis and Councilman Steve Detrick made suggestions that could affect how the Elk Grove City Council conducts business and interacts with constituents.

Davis, who one day earlier announced he will be leaving office this December, suggested exploring making the next Mayor, at least in terms of compensation, a full-time position. Even though he didn't explicitly say it, Davis implied by making the position full-time, the Mayor would be available during regular business hours at City Hall.  

Piggybacking on Davis' suggestion, Councilman Steve Detrick suggested exploring giving full-time status to council members as well. 

While there many questions regarding this proposed change, many of them which will be answered when the matter is brought back for council deliberation and public comment, one EGN reader put forth an interesting question that warrants attention. This question is, if we change council members to full time positions, will they be expected to keep regular office hours?

Put more directly, will the job as a council member be a full time job, not just additional pay for the council members? If elected to a full-time position, will the council members be willing to give up their current jobs to do the business of the people and see constituents during normal business hours? 

Anything less than that is nothing more than a money grab. Additionally, if council members are so busy, taxpayers have made available to each of them a 20-hour a week assistant, which three of the council members have currently decided to forgo. 

This is not to say that having a full-time council is a bad idea. If we do go in that direction, it is a reasonable expectation that if council members are paid a full-time salary, they should be available for constituents, free of other full-time employment, during regular business hours.     

These are questions among many that we need to start discussing now and the councilmen need to ponder in the coming days as this change is contemplated. 






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3 comments

Ace of Spades said...

Gary Davis once said in an interview that all politicians have a "shelf life". Go ahead and put this on the ballot and see what happens to your shelf life!

you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?"

-Harry Callahan-

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Steve Detrick compared the full-time job of an Elk Grove City Council member to the Sacramento City Council. Who is he kidding? The City of Sacramento has a population close to 500,000 with an annual budget nearing one billion dollars. [City of Sacramento Council members’ salary is $63,000 a year]

IMO, Detrick is all about himself, money and greed. Let’s not forget it was Detrick who recently proposed and forced the vote to give Elk Grove City Council a raise and it was voted down.

There is a reason in a General Law city, which is Elk Grove is, that salaries are mandated by State law driven by the population.

One only has to look at the City of Bell and the outrageous salaries that city council voted for themselves. Is it no wonder Bell’s former city manager and a few of the council members went to jail? For example, Victor Bello — a onetime phone jack installer who was paid nearly $100,000 for his part-time duties as a councilman — was sentenced to a year in jail and five years' probation.

If this issue makes the ballot, there should be two questions:
1. Should the Mayor of the City of Elk Grove be a full time position with a full time salary?
2. Should the four Elk Grove City Council Districts be that of full-time positions with full-time salaries?

Of course, what wouldn’t be on the ballot is how much the council members would make for roughly representing 40,000 residents each. You have to know they will vote themselves upwards to $100,000 a year, if not more, not to mention the increase in full-time benefits which they already receive. [Total benefit package of about $125,000. That is $3,125 per constituent.]

In closing, every single one of the Elk Grove City Council members knew what was expected of them when they ran for office and what the job entailed, including the salary. They are part-time council members period. If the job is now too much for them, resign, or better still, don’t run for reelection!

Josie said...

I am frustrated, overwhelmed and rapidly becoming cynical at the thought of the taxpayers of this fine city being able to make a difference at any level.

At what point did "us" versus "them" become every man for himself? It's beginning to look like the old times at council meetings that I thought a lesson was learned by all.

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